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My cousin almost died yesterday.

Updated: Jul 20

My name is Claire I am responsible for the marketing here at SAT. I want to tell you how my life has been impacted by an avoidable road incident that nearly killed my cousin.


A quick incident changed Charlies parents, Siblings and Grandparent's day, but most importantly changed Charlie's life forever. Charlie was travelling home from school when he was hit by a car while crossing the road. It had a catastrophic result and Charlie is now in hospital with both legs broken, both arms broken, one dislocated shoulder and swelling on his head which has led to 2 blood clots near his brain.


Charlie is 14, he has his whole life ahead of him has now been told that he may never walk the same again as a result of his injuries.


A 30-year-old man has been arrested for driving while unfit to drive through the use of drugs. A young man who made the decision yesterday to drive whilst he was under the influence of drugs has now impacted many people's lives, not only my own family and all of Charlies friends but also that of his own family and friends. How will the young people in his family view his actions? It could have easily been them suffering the consequences of his decision to drive in this way.


This incident could have had much more tragic consequences and as a family we are relived that Charlie is now a position where he can recover, albeit, with potential life changing injuries.


In 2019 the Department of Transport reported that ‘There were 1,870 road deaths in the year ending June 2019 which is an increase compared to the previous year.’ Statistically that’s 5 deaths due to road accidents every day in the UK. That’s 5 deaths too many. Speed limits, Road signs, speed cameras and speed bumps are just a few of the things that are implemented for a reason.


That reason being safety for vulnerable road users.

5 deaths a day-this does not include road casualties which is the Statistic category Charlie falls under – those with life changing injuries. The department of transport also reported ‘There were 157,630 casualties of all severities in the year ending June 2019’ - A casualty is a PERSON.


Studies show thatdrink-related offences have continued to decline year-on-year, from 1.02 per 1,000 drivers in 2018, to 0.86 in 2019, to 0.79 this year. However, drug driving offences continue to increase - from 0.11 per 1,000 drivers in 2018, to 0.13 in 2019, to 0.17 in 2020.’ This indicates that more awareness needs to be built up around drug driving so that people understand the effects.


Source: Brake (https://www.brake.org.uk/get-involved/take-action/mybrake/knowledge-centre/drug-driving)


Cannabis, can slow reaction times, reduce the ability to concentrate and distort the judgement of time and distance.

Other drugs, such as cocaine, may lead to people taking more risks. Both result in deaths. Penalties for drug driving include a minimum 1 year driving ban, an unlimited fine, up to 6 months in prison and a criminal record.

The penalty for causing death by dangerous driving under the influence of drugs is a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Charlie is 14 years of age, luckily enough for him he will recover from the majority of his injuries- although some of them will have lasting effects. Unfortunately for some other victims they will end up dead. Leaving their families pleading for justice. So, before you pick up your phone whilst driving, drive at 30mph in a 20mph zone, drive whilst you are tired or angry, run a red light, ignore a stop sign or change lane without thinking please spare a thought for the pedestrian that you may turn into a victim.

References:

Reported road casualties in Great Britain: provisional estimates year ending June 2019 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Drugs and driving: the law - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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